12 classic rock bands that featured more than two lead singers

Some bands find it necessary to replace their lead singer. These bands had multiple lead singers.
Three Dog Night in concert
Three Dog Night in concert / Watal Asanuma/Shinko Music/GettyImages
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Two of them were actual musicians. Two were musically inclined performers. They were thrown together for an absurdist television show designed to capitalize on the success of another quartet known for its outlandish humor.

Early on, it was the adorable one with the romantic voice – Davy Jones – and the one with musical theater training – Micky Dolenz – who handled most of the singing. But before too long, the guys playing guitar and bass – Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork – began writing and singing leads too. That only came after a protracted battle with their record label to allow the band members to actually be a band, as opposed to merely being wacky figureheads for other artist’s creations.

Though Davy got a lot of the headlines, Micky sang most of the hits, like their first two number-one singles “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer.”  Davy did score his own number one with “Daydream Believer.” “Believer” played a big role in early Monkees tunes. I know because I now have misspelled it twice in less than thirty seconds. Michael Nesmith would sing lead on a minor hit or two, and I don’t believe any Peter Tork lead vocal ever charted, but they still sang some great songs, adding dimension to the band’s output.


Micky Dolenz: “Goin’ Down”
Davy Jones: “Valleri”
Mike Nesmith: “Listen to the Band”
Peter Tork: “Your Auntie Grizelda”


OK – so I promised a dozen classic rock bands at the outset, and I will accept complaints that Sonic Youth is not a classic rock band. You certainly won’t hear them on classic rock radio stations. So let’s just say they were a very important rock band at a time when classic rock was growing very stale and needed a shot in the arm. The three singing members of the New York noise band provided a major rush of adrenaline.

Guitar hero Thurston Moore usually sang about half the songs while bass player Kim Gordon took a few less. That left a song or two per album for the other guitarist Lee Ranaldo. Typically, whoever wrote the song would sing the song. But even when she wasn’t taking the lead, Gordon could often be heard contributing to the sonic atmosphere with background vocals, as on the Moore-fronted “Mary-Christ.” Gordon’s often-spoken vocals added a nice contrast to the more typical rock stylings of the two make guitar players.


Thurston Moore: “Teen Age Riot”
Kim Gordon: “Tunic”
Lee Ranaldo: “Karen Revisited”